The WORD in Other Words by Fr Raul Caga SVD (Philippines)
“YOLO” or “You Only Live Once” – popularly adhered to by some millennials– is about enjoying the present moment and everything it offers “to the max” without being wary of the consequences.
The conditions of discipleship Jesus laid out to his prospective followers surely ring hollow, if not downright absurd, to those who adhere to “yolo”. Denying oneself of anything pleasurable and desirable is thought of as plain and simple stupidity. Losing oneself in order to save one’s life defies human logic. They appear diametrically opposed to the “yoyo” mind set.
Whereas the “yolo” mentality considers only the present life, present moment and present world as all that matters, Jesus points to the next world as what truly counts.
Denying oneself, in Jesus’ life philosophy, is denying oneself of any form of attachments and pleasures that prevent us from emulating him. Losing oneself means being selfless in one’s relations with others to enrich further their dignity.
Jesus overturns the self-indulgent and hedonistic attitude in life by the logic of the cross and suffering for others’ sake. Discipleship is life’s calling where one is not preoccupied with what is desirable and pleasurable. By putting emphasis on giving up oneself for the service of others especially the needy, one finds greater joy and meaning in life.
A poem attributed to Stephen Grellet provides the right and better interpretation of Jesus’ logic: “I expect to pass through this world but once.
Any good therefore that I do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now.